Sherlock: 10 things you didn’t know about the world’s most famous detective
Next week Sherlock: Series 3 will hit the shelves on DVD and Blu-Ray, having taken the UK’s TV ratings by storm over the holiday season. The series by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss sits proudly on top of a pile of recent screen adaptations of the world's most famous detective, which have included Sky’s Elementary featuring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, as well as Guy Ritchie’s films starring Robert Downey Jr.
By now Sherlock’s story is well documented, but we dug up 10 things you may not know about the Baker Street’s most famous resident:
He’s a drug addict
This was touched on in the most recent episode of Sherlock, but it’s not a new addition to the narrative. In Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels, Sherlock is a habitual cocaine user who takes the drug via syringe in a ‘7% solution’, the drug still being legal in England during the 19th century.
He’s the most filmed human character in history …
…that is unless you include Dracula. Holmes had appeared more than 230 times in film and television, more than any other fictional character in history.
He was nearly called Sherrinford Holmes
Not so catchy, you may think, but still better than lucky old John Watson, who nearly ended up with the moniker Ormond Sacker. Instead, Sherrinford Holmes became the name given to a hypothetical older brother to Sherlock and Mycroft.
He didn’t wear a deerstalker…
…at least not in the original novels. The hat isn’t mentioned in any of Conan Doyle’s books, only appearing for the first time in the illustrations by Sidney Paget that accompanied a series of Conan Doyle’s short stories about the detective in The Strand magazine during the early 1890s. Incidentally, Paget’s commissioning is reported to have been an accident, following a mis-addressed letter that was intended for his younger brother, Walter.
He is the inspiration for Hugh Laurie’s character in House
The show’s producers have acknowledged Sherlock’s influence, with the detective forming the basis for the character Gregory House. It is also believed that the creation of another of the show’s characters, Dr. Wilson, was in homage to Dr. Watson.
His violin in a Stradivarius…
…and it’s probably worth a bomb. Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari is considered the greatest in history and his instruments have fetched as much as £9.8 million at auction, that record having been set in 2011 as part of an auction for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
He is the only fictional character to be inducted into the Royal Society of Chemistry
In a first for the society, the fictional detective was awarded and Honourary Fellowship in 2002
He isn’t Arthur Conan Doyle’s only contribution to cinema
Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World was the basis for Steven Spielberg’s movie Jurassic Park, as well as the subsequent sequel named directly after the book.
He’s a fighter, not a lover
Sherlock is trained in both boxing and ‘baritsu’: a mixture of ju-jitsu, Japanese wrestling and cane fencing. Also, he never has girlfriends…
He's connected to Taco Bell
Sherlock Holmes is reportedly based on a University of Edinburgh professor named Joseph Bell, a direct ancestor to Glen William Bell Jr., the founder of the Taco Bell food chain.
Sherlock: The Complete Third Season is available in stores from January 20th